The Largest Museum Complex of Turkey: Sanliurfa Museum

Sanliurfa Museum

Efforts to establish a museum in Şanlıurfa started in 1948, initially gathering museum artifacts and storing them at Atatürk Elementary School. These artifacts were later moved to Şehit Nusret Elementary School. The museum’s construction commenced in 1965, and it officially opened to the public in 1969. However, by 2014, the original location in the Şehitlik neighborhood could no longer accommodate the growing collection of artifacts. Thus, in 2015, the Şanlıurfa Archaeology Museum was relocated to a new, larger building in the Haleplibahçe neighborhood.

Today, the Şanlıurfa Archaeology Museum ranks as the fifth richest museum in Turkey, housing an impressive collection of 74,000 items. The museum showcases artifacts from the Paleolithic Era to the present, including the “12,000-Year-Old World’s Oldest Sculpture: The Balıklıgöl Statue.

Şanlıurfa leads Turkey in the number of archaeological excavations, contributing significantly to its rich heritage. As a result, the city center and two other township centers have been designated as archaeological sites, effectively turning the entire city into an open-air museum. In recognition of this rich archaeological landscape, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism decided to construct an archaeological museum and a mosaic museum in the Haleplibahçe neighborhood.

The new Şanlıurfa Museum and the Haleplibahçe Mosaics Museum officially opened their doors on May 24, 2015, marking a new chapter in the preservation and celebration of Şanlıurfa’s ancient heritage.

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